- Laws such as Title VII, the PDA, FMLA, ADEA, and the Equal Pay Act protect female employees against discrimination in the U.S.
- Around 74 million women comprise 47% of the total American workforce.
- Employers must provide equal pay for equal work without discriminating based on gender.
- Female employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave with job protection under FMLA for family or medical reasons.
- Women over 40 are protected from age-related discrimination by ADEA legislation.
The workplace can be challenging for female employees who face countless obstacles because of gender. From bias to discrimination, a woman’s path to success can be fraught with many difficulties. Fortunately, there are laws to protect female employees in the workplace. Here’s what you need to know about female workers in the U.S., the laws that protect them, and how you can maximize these laws’ protection.
Female Employees in The U.S.
It’s estimated that around 74 million women are working in the U.S., representing 47 percent of the total workforce. This number is expected to grow as more women enter the workplace, creating a great opportunity for female advancement.
Laws Protecting Female Employees
The rising number of female workers can also mean an ever-increasing amount of discrimination. Here are some laws that are protecting female employees today.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on gender. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees. This act ensures that no employee is discriminated against in the workplace for sex. It prohibits all forms of employment discrimination, including hiring, terminations, promotions, and retaliation, based on an employee being female.
Pregnancy Discrimination Act
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits employers from discriminating against female employees who are pregnant or have had an abortion. This law requires employers to treat pregnant women like employees with medical conditions. The PDA also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees, such as modified work hours or lighter duties.
Equal Pay Act
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 requires employers to provide equal pay for equal work. This law requires that female employees get the same pay as those who perform the same job. The act prohibits employers from paying male and female employees different salaries or wages based solely on gender.
Family and Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees to take annual unpaid leaves. This law applies to employers with more than 50 employees. The FMLA allows female employees to take maternity leave and guarantees they can return to their jobs after their leave.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees over 40. The ADEA recognizes that older female employees have unique challenges in the workplace. Employers cannot force older female employees to retire or discriminate against them in any way.
How to Maximize The Protection of These Laws
As a female employee, there are various ways to maximize the protection of these laws. Here are some of those ways:
Know a Lawyer
It’s vital that you know a professional legal service to help you. They must know about women’s rights and handle female-related family matters. An experienced women’s rights lawyer can drastically change how you work and even improve your career. They can also help you understand the laws better and provide legal advice when needed.
Be Aware of Your Rights
It’s important to be aware of your rights as a female employee. This can include understanding what Title VII, the PDA, FMLA, ADEA, and Equal Pay Act do to protect you. Knowing these laws will help you ensure that your employer is abiding by them and providing equal opportunities for all employees.
Seek Support from Co-Workers
The workplace can be challenging for women who experience bias or discrimination. Seek support from your co-workers if something isn’t right or someone is treating you unfairly due to gender. Remember that there are many other female employees out there who may have experienced similar situations and could offer helpful advice.
Be a Voice for Change
Finally, be an advocate for change in the workplace. Speak out against any discrimination or bias you may see or experience, and encourage other female employees to do the same. By being a voice for change, you will help create a more equitable environment for all workers, regardless of gender.
These laws are there to protect female employees in the workplace. Awareness of these laws and how they protect you is essential. Knowing your rights as an employee is the first step in ensuring a safe and equitable working environment. By being observant and proactive, you can maximize the protection offered by these laws and ensure that all women receive fair treatment in the workplace.